Stephen Balkam discusses tech companies' embrace of anti-bullying activity as a response following tragic circumstances. “It’s like a cycle,” he says. “I’d say it’s more like a spiral than reinventing the wheel every time. The newer app companies are more aware that safety, trust, and privacy will come to bite them if they don’t deal with it upfront.”
FOSI's family safety contracts are highlighted in this Denver Post piece, along with comments on the effectiveness of contracts from Jennifer Hanley, Director of Policy & Legal.
Stephen Balkam wrote this piece for Internet Safety Awareness Month for Verizon's Home and Family page. See how he recommends using June as "the time to start a midyear resolution," and discusses FOSI's Platform for Good initiative and ways that teens can take advantage of opportunities for positive interactions online.
Speaking on this panel for a Washington Post Live event, Stephen Balkam says it's important to know how you're portrayed online and gives tips for shaping your digital reputation.
Facebook is reconsidering its policy on graphic content after a violent video surfaced and was shared.
"Every generation of teenagers has figured out a way of rebelling against their parents, or giving it back to 'the man.' What I think is unprecedented is the very 'man' and the system they want to rebel against can track them and find their digital footprints online," Mr. Balkam says. "In a sense, it's good that we can catch kids who are getting radicalized sooner than later, but by the same token, it's a challenge for kids to grow and develop, which is their job as a teenager, if they are being scrutinized too much."
"Imagine how horrible for the victim, waking up and hearing about what happened via text and Twitter, and then how quickly it all spread, through the school and the community," says Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. "And then it spreads nationally and internationally. We're talking about a reverberation that will last, frankly, the rest of her life."
"Kids are getting smartphones at younger and younger ages," Balkam said. "And what parents have to realize is that these iPhones and other devices are very powerful mobile computers."
Safer Internet Day is part of a wider and long established effort by the European Union to raise awareness of illegal and harmful content for children. So, to mark Safer Internet Day, we at the Family Online Safety Institute are launching a Pledge for Good.
Another recent study by the Family Online Safety Institute revealed wide gaps between parental perceptions of their teen's online usage and the teen's own perceptions.